Keswick to Longton (the half way point)

Not the best start to the day, as it began with a long steep climb out of Keswick heading to Windermere.

In fact the whole morning was a series of series of hills following the A591 to Windermere and the A5074 to Crossthwaite, then minor roads to Underbarrow and Brigsteer before joining the A6 at Levens. But then this is the Lake District and gorgeous scenery is not often associated with flat roads.

Windermere - Half Way!

We decided to stop at Windermere to eat, it was only about 20 miles into the day but it marked the half way point on the trip.

However, after finding a place to stop by the lake we realised we had forgotten to collect our packed lunch from the Youth Hostel. I felt, as it was only 20 miles and being much fitter than me, Christian should go back and get them but, much to my surprise, he refused and insisted we buy some Sandwiches in the town! The youth of today, don't know they were born half of them!!!

As usual hills meant I fell behind Christian, so I was grateful to meet up with another cyclist on holiday in the area; hills always seem easier with someone to talk to. He was taken aback we were attempting John O'Groats to Land's End on our ropey old bikes and keenly recounted his experiences of it a few years earlier. I am grateful to him for providing me with the the one piece of overriding insight he came away from the trip with:

"How can legs hurt so much and still work?"

Once we got to Levens things got a lot flatter and the plan was to follow the A6 to Lancaster, then the A588 to Cockerham, then the B5272 and A6 again to Preston.

However a short way along the A6 we noticed a cycle path to Lancaster and, preferring scenery to major roads, decided to follow this instead. This proved to be a major error of judgement, as it turned out to be one of those paths introduced by town planners who hate cyclists. It meandered in no particular direction over every steep hill in the area until we decided to cut our losses and get back on the A6.

From that point on we vowed to avoid every cycle path like the plague!

After Lancaster, which is a lovely City, things start to get more urbanised and less picturesque as you get closer to Preston, so we just got our heads down and pushed hard along the A6 to Preston then the A59 to Longton.

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Day:7 of 13
Date:05 July 2003
Distance:138 KM
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